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New Hepatitis C Treatments: Considerations and Potential Strategies for States

March 24, 2015 Comments off

New Hepatitis C Treatments: Considerations and Potential Strategies for States
Source: National Governors Association

The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) convened an expert roundtable to discuss the opportunities and challenges presented by new hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatments and other pharmaceutical therapies known as high-impact drugs. Such drug treatments share the common characteristics of being more effective than prevailing drug therapies, often resulting in a change in clinical practice that includes treating many more people and being much more expensive. Experts participating in the roundtable included state health care leaders, scientists, national health care experts, subject-matter experts from insurance and pharmaceutical companies, Medicaid and corrections legal experts, and senior staff from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This paper summarizes the expert roundtable discussion supplemented by NGA Center research to flesh out the background information and strategies discussed.

The Expanding Role of Pharmacists in a Transformed Health Care System

March 13, 2015 Comments off

The Expanding Role of Pharmacists in a Transformed Health Care System
Source: National Governors Association

Pharmacists practice in a variety of health care settings. Although they are most often associated with dispensing medications in retail pharmacies, their role is evolving to include providing direct care to patients as members of integrated health care provider teams.

Several key challenges and barriers, however, prevent the full integration of pharmacists into health care delivery teams:
restrictive laws and regulations governing CPAs, lack of provider recognition in federal and state law governing compensation of pharmacists who provide direct patient-care services, and limitations on pharmacists’ ability to access health information systems.

States seeking to integrate pharmacists more fully into the health care delivery system can examine state laws and regulations governing the profession to address the challenges to pharmacists practicing to the full scope of their professional training.

NGA And NCSL Release Recommendations For ESEA Reauthorization

February 11, 2015 Comments off

NGA And NCSL Release Recommendations For ESEA Reauthorization
Source: National Governors Association and National Conference of State Legislatures

The National Governors Association (NGA), along with the National Conference of State Legislatures, today released Governors’ and State Legislators’ Plan to Reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, a bipartisan path for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

Governors and state legislators say the new act should improve the law’s governance structure to provide states greater authority to align and leverage their early education, K-12 and postsecondary policies to increase educational effectiveness. The law should reinforce the principle that accountability and responsibility for K-12 education rests with the states. It also should support state-led strategies to improve low-performing schools and include the ability to empower teachers and school leaders to prepare all students for success.

Governors’ Guide to Modernizing the Electric Power Grid

May 16, 2014 Comments off

Governors’ Guide to Modernizing the Electric Power Grid (PDF)
Source: National Governors Association

Governors have a strong interest in ensuring that the electric power grid functions safely, reliably, and efficiently. Although it functions well overall and utilities have made many upgrades, the grid needs modern technologies and new infrastructure to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century, including mitigating increased storm- and cyber-related threats, integrating the use of more renewable energy resources, and capitalizing on the greater availability of data on grid performance and electricity usage. Most recently, an attack by gunmen on a utility substation in California that caused damage but did not result in a power outage has drawn attention to another vulnerability of electricity infrastructure. By modernizing the grid, states and utilities have an opportunity to address those challenges, improve the operation and efficiency of the electric power system, and drive economic opportunities. Governors can help regulators, utilities, and customers better understand the benefits of grid modernization in terms of increased reliability, resiliency, and energy efficiency and how those benefits compare to the costs. Governors also can promote greater coordination among state, federal, and private partners—on transmission development, cybersecurity threats, and renewable integration—which can help modernization efforts occur more quickly and cost-effectively.

An Energy Efficiency Primer for Governors

November 12, 2013 Comments off

An Energy Efficiency Primer for Governors
Source: National Governors Association

States have been essential to the progress the United States has made in using energy more efficiently, according to a new paper released by the National Governors Association (NGA).

Governors play a critical role in advancing energy efficiency and are supporting efforts to help consumers lower their energy costs, reduce state energy expenditures, defer the need for new power plant investments, strengthen system reliability and reduce environmental impacts.

An Energy Efficiency Primer for Governors describes successful actions governors have taken to further cost-effective energy efficiency. Governors have worked with legislators, regulators and others to advance energy efficiency in a variety of ways. Examples of recent state actions include:

  • Conducting energy planning to analyze potential energy savings and explore best practices;
  • Improving energy efficiency rules and standards for buildings and appliances;
  • Incentivizing spending by utilities to provide increased energy efficiency to homes, businesses and industries;
  • Supporting innovative financing and repayment mechanisms to encourage private sector investment;
  • Creating new efforts that use information technology to spur enhanced energy savings by consumers and businesses; and
  • Supporting research and development through partnerships with universities and the private sector to encourage the next generation of energy efficiency initiatives.

A Governor’s Guide to Early Literacy: Getting all Students Reading by Third Grade

November 10, 2013 Comments off

A Governor’s Guide to Early Literacy: Getting all Students Reading by Third Grade
Source: National Governors Association

Improving early literacy is essential to increasing high school graduation rates allowing students to be successful in postsecondary education and ensuring the prosperity of all Americans, according to a report released by the National Governors Association (NGA).

A Governor’s Guide to Early Literacy: Getting all Students Reading by Third Grade examines the gap between research and policy and describes the five policy actions that governors can take to ensure all children read at grade level by the end of third grade.

States can increase the number of children who are proficient in reading by third grade by including three major and widely embraced results of educational research in their efforts:

  • Differences in literacy and language development in early childhood can lead to achievement gaps as early as kindergarten;
  • Reading proficiency requires a focus on interrelated skills and knowledge taught over time; and
  • Parents, primary caregivers and teachers have the most influence on children’s language and literacy development.

State Clean Energy Actions: November 2012–June 2013 Update

October 29, 2013 Comments off

State Clean Energy Actions: November 2012–June 2013 Update
Source: National Governors Association

Governors continued to advance renewable energy, energy efficiency and other forms of clean energy during their 2013 state legislative sessions, according to a report released by the National Governors Association (NGA).

State Clean Energy Actions: November 2012–June 2013 Update covers the 55 states, commonwealths and territories and highlights nearly 350 actions governors took to support greater use of clean energy, often with the goal of spurring economic development, reducing energy costs to consumers or minimizing environmental impacts. Areas with the most activity included renewable portfolio standards, shale gas development, financial incentives, building codes and state building efficiency efforts.

The paper provides summary data and highlights recent state-level activity and cumulative data from 2008-2013 across seven categories:

  • clean electricity;
  • energy efficiency;
  • alternative fuels and vehicles;
  • lead-by-example initiatives;
  • clean energy economic development;
  • clean energy research, development and demonstration; and
  • greenhouse gas emissions.
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